Onward to Day 3 of Forgotten Domains Week, where I review domains I own but have forgotten over the years. For today, shall we play a game?...
DAY THREE: SIMDAVE.COM/DAVESIM.COM
One of the things I loved about the early days of the internet was the challenge in doing something new, different, and cool. There was no CSS, no Flash, not a lot of anything really. About the only funky tool that designers had was animated GIF graphics (my how things have changed). And, since I loved being on the cutting edge of technology, I wanted to exploit animated GIFs in a way that I hadn't seen before. But what would that be?
Turns out is was a mini-game based on the "Sim" series of simulation games (SimCity, SimEarth, SimFarm, SimIsle, etc.). Only this time I decided to simulate myself!
"SimDave" (as I called it) was a very crude "game" that allowed you to change the environment around a simulated "me" to see how I would react. For instance... you could choose to turn on the radio and watch me dance. You could change the channel on the radio to a country-western station and watch attempt to hang myself. You could make me change clothes or run around naked. You could feed me pizza, ice cream, or give me a present. You could put me to bed or have me exercise by doing jumping-jacks. All in all, there were about 40 separate things you could do to poor little SimDave, including electrocuting me with the toaster, flushing me down the toilet, or having me mauled by a bear. It was a tough life (albeit simulated) for me.
Anyway, for a while SimDave was a big draw for "Dave's Web" and I got a lot of nice compliments on it, which encouraged me to keep improving the graphics and giving people more things to do with me. The biggest compliments I got was when people would send me new scenarios for SimDave (including one pornographic simulation which involved whip cream and a hooker). But, alas, it was not to last. When I redesigned my site in 1997, I renamed it "DaveWeb" and purchased a domain and hosting package to go with it. Tragedy struck when I lost the entirety of SimDave... all 80-or-so animated GIFs and hundreds upon hundreds of hours work was gone. I am not a very emotional person, but I was pretty choked up about it. I dare say that, retro as it would be, it would still be a cool thing that people would like.
Zip forward to the year 2000 when Flash animations started really taking over the web. Suddenly the possibilities for user-interaction were greatly expanded. One day while working on an animation project for a client, it suddenly occurred to me that I could resurrect SimDave, this time as a cool Flash-based game! With the intention of doing exactly that, I immediately went out and registered SimDave.com and DaveSim.com (just in case Maxis, makers of SimCity and The Sims, would sue). Unfortunately, all I managed to complete was the "Sim Dave" animation sprites (which are the basis for all the DaveToons I draw for Blogography). Just as with dozens of other ambitious projects I've started over the years, I never had the time to finish it.
This is one of those times that I really, really wish I had more free time. The nostalgia involved in getting a new SimDave game on the internet is something I dream about often.